Category Archives: Elections

Appoint Tax Assessors, 3 water, 3 road, 1 pandemic, 1 software @ LCC 2020-09-21

Applying this morning for Board of Tax Assessors are Mr. Gene Felts and Mrs. Gretchen Quarterman. The Lowndes County Commission will vote tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5:30 PM. That and almost $4 million in water, road, software, and fire items.

Cost What
$1,681,770.84Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving of Clyattstone Road and Simpson Lane.
$1,417,333.98Clyattstone Water Main Extension
$489,310.00Motorola SUAII (Evergreen)
$128,075.58Firefighter Personnel Request
$41,217.6.00Foxborough Lift Station Pump
$34,169.28Drainage Improvements to Brinson Lane and Oak Hill Drive
$22,500.00FY2021 Joint Funding Agreement with USGS
$19,800.00Land Application System (LAS) Expansion Agreement
$3,834,177.28Total

Apparently paving does not solve all problems, because one of the four water items is Drainage Improvements to Brinson Lane and Oak Hill Drive to “eliminate flooding issues as a result of the paving of Oak Hill Drive.”. The other three water items are FY2021 Joint Funding Agreement with USGS for the Folsom Bridge (GA 122 Little River & Skipper Bridge (Withlacoochee River) USGS gauges, Foxborough Lift Station Pump, and Land Application System (LAS) Expansion Agreement.

In addition to Brinson Lane, there are two more road items: Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving of Clyattstone Road and Simpson Lane (how much have they spent on that project combined so far?) and Acceptance of Infrastructure for Val Del Villas. The latter is listed as no cost, despite the Brinson Lane episode.

[Survey Plat]
Survey Plat

Also on the agenda: Grant Submission Request – COVID-19 Response Grant Application, partly to “Recruit and hire a sufficient number of poll workers and inspectors to ensure polling places are properly staffed,” , a Firefighter Personnel Request, and Motorola SUAll (Evergreen) software.

Received in response to a LAKE open records request, the board packet is on the LAKE website. Here is the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2020, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

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Videos: New Valdosta Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem, and $2 million budget surplus while record raw sewage was spilling @ VCC 2020-01-09

A month ago at the Valdosta City Council we learned that Valdosta has a $2,410,000 budget surplus.

Valdosta municipal audit and budget surplus
5b) Presentation of the Municipal Audit for Fiscal Year 2019

Maybe they could spend some of that to help fix the well and river testing costs downstream on the Withlacoochee River of Valdosta’s record 7.5 million gallons of raw sewage spill into Sugar Creek, which has taken two months to maybe finally get diluted down the Withlacoochee River, twice entering Florida, with three Florida river advisories, and with Georgia warning signs on the Withlacoochee River downstream of Sugar Creek by Lowndes County and by WWALS (but not by Valdosta).

One City Council member tells me that audit doesn’t mean Valdosta has $2 million cash lying around. But they do have several hundred thousand unspent.

Maybe they could also budget some of that surplus to help fix the stigma, the decades-long reputational damage to all our rivers, caused by Valdosta’s chronic sewage spills. That would involve for example water quality testing or paying for testing downstream on the Withlacoochee River and doing marketing.

Four Citizens spoke at the end of the meeting: Continue reading

New Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem @ VCC 2020-01-09

Here is the agenda and a few pictures of the first Valdosta City Council meeting of 2020, including the installation of new Mayor Scott James Matheson and new Mayor Pro-Tem Tim Carroll.

[Seldom seen this full]
Seldom seen this full

A few City Council members were re-elected and took the oath of office again; none are new. LAKE videos will follow. Continue reading

Videos: Clyattstone Road Paving, Bids, Lease, Appointments, nothing for Fire Dept. @ LCC 2020-01-14

Maybe it was “custom fit” that caused Commissioner Clay Griner to ask for postponement of approval of purchase of firefighting equipment until after the county’s retreat. All five Commissioners voted for tabling. More detail below in the notes on that item.

Bob Dewar has discovered the county wants an 80-foot right of way to pave Clyattstone Road, “What we do not want is a highway. It’s a quaint county road.” Well, that’s not why the county paves roads. More in the item notes below.

Everything else was passed with little or no discussion.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the Continue reading

Videos: Water quality testing, Bids, Leaase, Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

Not on the agenda, Chairman Bill Slaughter at the end of the meeting said Utilities Director Steve Stalvey had been testing water quality on the Withlacoochee River. On December 31, bacterial counts were acceptable. But on January 6, 2020, counts were quite high, so the county made and posted some warning signs at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line (GA 31) Boat Ramps.

Here is one of the county’s signs, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, with a sign by WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee Riverkeeper) at the bottom of the other pole with Continue reading

Bids $1.4 million, insurance $1 million, and $0.4 million lease plus two Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

A million dollars for Paving – Quail Hollow Acres Subdivision and $0.4 million for Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department. Another million for 2020 Stop Loss Insurance Coverage through Symetra Life Ins. Company. A quarter million to relocate utilities at I-75 Exit 2 will be paid by GDOT. And a million in income for a Lease Agreement with the State Properties Commission for the Division of Family & Children Services (DFACS).

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Page 60

Molly Deese wants to be reappointed to the Valdosta Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority. Incumbents almost always get reappointed if they say they want to, and the chances of them not reappointing the Vice President and General Manager of Wild Adventures is pretty slim. Ditto Dr. Frances Brown on the Lowndes County Board of Health.

They’re setting the Special Assessment interest rate “for all paving and utilityassessments that are not paid off within the initial 90-day phase. Unpaid assessments revert to installment agreements which are to be paid over a period of up to ten years.” New rate: 6.75% for 2020, down from 7.50% for 2019.

They’re setting qualifying fees to run for office, primary or general election: Continue reading

Valdosta Chamber Candidate Forum 2019-10-08

Meet the Candidates 2019, organized by the Valdosta Lowndes Chamber of Commerce: no questions from the audience, but Gretchen Quarterman videoed for LAKE the few minutes each candidate for Valdosta Mayor, City Council, or Valdosta Board of Education held forth. Plus seven minutes about SPLOST, the Special Local Option Sales Tax, the only thing voters in the unincorporated parts of Lowndes County get to vote on this election season.

Mike Gudley talks about the SPLOST referendum

Below are links to each LAKE video Gretchen took, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

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Videos: Lowndes County Board of Elections 2019-03-12

At a monthly meeting held during an election, the Lowndes County Board of Elections decided to re-open a polling station at a Valdosta State University (VSU) precinct, which hasn’t happened since 2009. The next step is for the VSU President to make a decision. Then, students, step up and staff it, and vote, please!


Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, of Lowndes County Elections Supervisor Deb Cox, with Lowndes County Board of Elections Members Ray Corbett, Carla Jordan, and Jackie Goolsby.

Thomas Lynn, Valdosta Daily Times, 12 March 2019, UPDATE: ACLU to attend board of elections meeting,

VALDOSTA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia plans to attend the Lowndes County Board of Elections meeting Tuesday.

This comes after the ACLU sent Deb Cox, elections supervisor, a letter urging the election board to open a polling location at the Valdosta State University main campus.

Cox responded Continue reading

Videos: Scottie Orenstein swearing in for District 2 @ LCC 2019-01-22

As mentioned in the morning Work Session, at 5PM before the evening Regular Session, they had a swearing-in ceremony for re-elected County Commissioner Scottie Orenstein, District 2.

Nevermind he already voted in a previous Regular Session after being elected.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist:

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Videos: Clyattville Precinct at Board of Elections, Lowndes County, Georgia, 2019-01-08

Most attending ever seen at the Lowndes County, Georgia, Board of Elections! Potential closure of the Clyattville voting precinct was the issue. That won’t happen because of the strength of the Clyattville community in organizing and working with the union hall.

The union hall, at 5421 Madison Highway, is Continue reading